Michael at Christmas/Precious Child
Just thinking of Michael --and missing him being here-- as 2017 winds down. We were friends in the late 6o's (when he replaced Mike Kobluk in the Chad Mitchell Trio) through his Earl of Old Town gigs and his extraordinary Jacque Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris run in Chicago (when he was a bearded "M Jay Johnson" tour de force with the audience enraptured by his powerful and nuanced performance and in the palm of his guitarless hands night after night), through his magnificent 1973 There is a Breeze up and just before he released his definitive (for me) Ain't Dis Da Life.
Michael (and David Boise, also of the Mitchell Trio) stayed with my then girlfriend and I several times during this period and I can attest to his amazing ability to be in top voice and musical form from the moment he woke up ... wow! For me, these were Michael's golden years. More about that at a later time.
During this Christmas season, I hope you all have your copy of Craig Bickhardt's beautiful --and I do mean beautiful-- Christmas story brought to song cd called "Precious Child", and are savoring Michael's tracks "Mary and Joseph, Rejoice!" (by himself) and "The Flight" (with Guy Clark, Russ Taff and Kim Parent). In email exchanges with Craig years ago, he made clear how proud Michael was of this work. (FYI: Also check out the Janice Ian tracks.) And thank you Cindy for all you have done since his passing and long before. Words cannot express.
We do miss you Michael, so very, very much.
Bruce Scott McKellar
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